Five Tips to Rock Your Next Job Interview
Whether you’re headed into the first job interview on an entirely new career path or an interview to move up in position at your current company, you should feel confident and prepared to rock it. At Nxt Chptr, we talk a lot about finding a new job, changing careers, and interviewing for new roles. Not to mention, our amazing coaches have shared a handful of tips and tricks to make interviewing for a new job less intimidating and nerve wracking. Here are our top five interview tips for landing the new job.
Dress the Part
Contrary to what you may think, the outfit you choose to wear on interview day is not for the benefit of the people around you. It’s actually for your benefit. Yes, obviously you want to dress appropriately for the role, but you also want to feel comfortable and like yourself. You need to put effort into your appearance to show that you’re serious about the position, and also to feel serious about the position. We hear the term, “dress the part” often, and that’s exactly what you need to do. For more tips on what to wear, check out this article. And remember, if you feel comfortable, you will be comfortable.
Be ready to think on your feet. Every interviewer has a set of questions they like to ask and you’ll never be able to predict what those questions may be. Sounds scary, we know, but it’s really not. Prepare yourself for the standard job interview questions – rock those. Then, show your personality even more when you get asked the personal questions. Even if you take your best guess on the few you don’t know, you’ll still score at least a B+ by having rehearsed the others. You can also lean on a friend or family member for some help. Do you know someone who is in a higher level role and often performs interviews? Or maybe someone who works in human relations? Have them quiz you or send you a list of their favorite questions to ask.
It’s also important to be prepared to roll with the punches. Who knows what will happen during your interview… someone may show up late, the phone may ring, you may get interrupted, etc. Get in the mindset where those things won’t throw you off. Oh and one last tip, plan to be very early. This will give you some buffer time in case there’s traffic, you forgot to fill up the gas tank, you get lost… and the list of goes on. There’s nothing worse than rushing and showing up late or flustered.
Watch Your Body Language
Don’t worry, we’re not going to bore you with statistics on how much your brain gathers visually, or how to sit in just the right position. The fact is, the interviewer is a person too. They probably aren’t trained on what certain body language means, but they will react to how it makes them feel. Avoid negative body language like having your arms folded or slouching in your chair. Odds are your natural motions during an interview for a job you’d love are the exact signals they’d like to see… they’re genuine. Simple things like open handed gestures, nodding while they speak, and smiling while you make eye contact are effective in their own right. Be present, be purposeful, and be polite.
On the other side of the table, they may be throwing you some body language as well. Remember, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Try not to get discouraged by their body language, however if it’s your future boss sitting across the table and he or she is sending you some negative vibes, ask yourself if that’s really what you want moving forward.
Ask Authentic Questions
One of the most dreaded questions to get from an interviewer is “Do you have any questions for me?” It’s scary to hear that question if you don’t have a list of things to ask. This goes back to being prepared. Do your research on the company and the role before you attend the job interview. Nothing is more off-putting to an interviewer than a candidate who hasn’t prepared. At that point, you might as well not show up. Make sure you have a list of questions prepared and don’t be afraid to ask the hard ones. Ask your future boss what their management style is, or what the company culture is like. Throw some tough questions their way – they’ll respect you for it. For more ideas on what to ask, check out this list by Business Insider.
If the time comes and you genuinely don’t have any questions, your response should not be thought up on the spot. Consider something like “At the moment you’ve done a great job answering all my questions, but I will definitely reach out if something comes to mind.”
Send a Thoughtful Follow-up
Whether you’re great with memorizing things on the spot or you scribble down some notes during the interview – which most employers prefer to see – try to retain some personal tidbits for your follow up communication. Maybe you had a short back and forth about the sports memorabilia on their desk or the crayon drawings they’ve hung on the wall from their children. Or maybe you can make light of a mistake you made and both had a laugh about. If you jog their memory about your conversation you’ll be bringing to mind everything they liked about the interview as well. This goes a long way in keeping you on the top of their minds and reinforces all their good instincts about choosing you. Don’t forget, you got that interview for a reason and they already recognized something they like about you.
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